Gov. Baker Signs "Laura's Law" Improving Emergency Room Access

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker signed "Laura's Law" into effect Friday, ensuring safe patient access to emergency rooms across Massachusetts.

Gov. Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were joined at the ceremonial signing Friday afternoon by family members of Laura Levis, for whom the bill is named. In 2016, at age 34, Levis died of an asthma attack outside of an area hospital when she was unable to locate an accessible entrance to the emergency room.

"I signed ‘Laura’s Law’ to safeguard against future tragedies occurring just steps away from hospital emergency departments,” Governor Baker said. "In the wake of her tragic passing, Laura’s husband, Pete, undertook an exhaustive effort to honor her legacy and protect others from similar fates. After months of collaboration and hard work with legislators, including Senator Jehlen and Representative Barber, I am proud to sign Laura’s Law and celebrate her memory in a meaningful way."

The new law would implement minimum criteria and standards that ensure safe, timely and accessible patient access to the entrances of Massachusetts hospital emergency departments.

The new regulations will require that hospital entries must be clearly marked, easily accessible, and properly monitored by security when appropriate.

Additionally, Baker's office said the Department of Public Health will convene "a working group on patient access to hospital emergency rooms or departments," to report on and make recommendations to inform the state's policies.

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Mass.Gov)

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